Christmas is only a few days away and I’m doing my best not to feel so bummed out. I know that I survived cancer, trust me, I count my blessings every day. But I am having a hard time coping with “life after cancer (and chemo).”
Not many people rallied around me when I was going through chemo, but now that I am done, even less communicate. I may get a text or two (if I am lucky) per week from people saying hi…all the other texts I get are from the Charles County Notification system letting me know that there’s a water main break or traffic incident in the area. My phone goes off and I get excited and it’s like…oh, wonderful, a traffic incident. I hope no one was hurt. Or other times, it’s a notification that one of my bills is available. Considering pre-cancer I averaged at least 6 texts per day (and usually much more), not even getting 6 in a month just completely sucks.
Being a single mom in my mid 30’s while trying to cope with all of these emotions is difficult, too. Almost all of my friends are married or in long term relationships. They have someone to go home to and talk about their day with – even if the person isn’t listening to them (ha ha). I talk to my girlfriends and they tell me about their significant other and how they are their rock … imagine not having a rock and dealing with everything completely alone. It sucks and it’s hard…it almost feels like some horrible punishment for a crime I didn’t commit.
I don’t have anyone to go home to talk to about anything. Not when something really wonderful happens or when I’m feeling a little stressed out or would just like adult interaction. My friends all work different schedules, they are busy with their lives and it’s hard to carve time out of your day just to talk to someone about nothing. At least when you’re with your spouse/significant other you can be cooking dinner, or cleaning … multi-tasking in some way.
I try to be respectful of people’s time and schedules so I don’t often call … usually when I feel compelled to call or reach out, it’s when I am feeling really lonely and I really have nothing positive to say so all I’ll do is complain and no one wants to take time and listen to someone complaining all the time. So I just don’t call because I honestly don’t have the energy to put on a front about how wonderful everything is. It’s not.
So everything just sort of festers and it causes a pit of emptiness in me. When people say “you have Aiden” it infuriates me. I have my 11 year old son whose job it is to go to school, help around the house, and be a kid … not to have to take on his mother’s problems. I do everything to keep the jokes coming and assure him that everything is back to normal and ok because he’s 11, he’s had to watch me be sick and hardly able to function and be the “man of the house” for the past year. He deserves to get to be a kid again and have joy back in his life.
Speaking of Aiden, he’s in middle school now and “finding himself.” He is in that selfish stage – I may get a 20 minute conversation with him per day – and that’s usually not all at once. He usually just stays in his room. I shouldn’t complain here too much, I remember what a little witch I was to mom about that age. Lord help me if Aiden pulls half the crap I pulled.
I also understand that it’s the holidays, people who are lucky enough to have family around them are super busy doing family things – so I get it. I’ve just been feeling down in the dumps and very lonely lately, I am hoping that writing about my feelings will ultimately make me feel a little better … at least I can get some of this weight off me.
I will get through this, too … I’m just having a really hard time right now.